Guitar Making Tip No. 19 is about how an instrument maker is different than a woodworker, though many aspects are similar. Making a guitar requires woodworking ability, but it also requires something additional. Here is the difference.
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Instrument Makers are Seen Differently Than Woodworkers
A furniture maker for example is concerned with beauty, function, and stability. As long as those three basic requirements are met, most of the pieces will be considered good.
The furniture maker can use the same kinds of wood that the instrument maker uses. They can also use the same finishes.
When an instrument maker builds something, they are concerned with everything that the furniture makers is concerned with, and they are also thinking about one other really important thing…
An Instrument Has to Sound Good Too
On top of beauty, function, and stability, an instrument has to sound good. This is not as easy as it looks. Building something that is both stable and musical is a technical balancing act that is both fun and challenging at the same time.
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If you build a very solid guitar, optimized for strength, it can overpower the capability to produce sound. On the other hand, if you build a guitar with only sound in mind, the structure may be too weak to support the tension very long.
As with most things, a compromise ends up taking place, and a guitar is made with both function and sound quality in mind. Taking the best of both, you craft an instrument that is strong as well as capable of producing high quality sound.
Woodworking and Guitar Making
Guitar making is a type of woodworking. Just like furniture making, pipe making, or pen making. Guitar makers and instrument makers in general are still woodworkers, they are just a different kind.
Every aspect of woodworking has it’s own challenges, and making a guitar is no different. A well made guitar is a beautiful item, because it has to be so many things to work well. This is the beauty and the misery of making an instrument.
For many woodworkers, they appreciate the difference in making a guitar. It’s more to think about, and they are not used to hearing their creations. An end table doesn’t make music, so making something that produces sound is fun for a lot of woodworkers.
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